Streamlining the Onboarding Process

Posted by SRA Admin on Nov 25 2015


There's more competition than ever to acquire talented graduates before rival companies can snatch them up. However, landing the most promising candidates mean little if you can't get them to commit to the company. In the future, HR personnel has to concentrate less upon recruiting and start focusing on onboarding. A company wouldn't have to hire so many new employees if it could lower its turnover rate. 

What is Onboarding?

Onboarding bridges the gap between recruiting new hires and keeping them. New studies have shown that nearly 90% of new employees are still uncommitted to a company after 6 months. This is especially troubling for a new company, because the majority of the workforce may be actively seeking employment somewhere else. These employees are on the payroll, but they're still not onboard with the company. There are three primary reasons why new hires seek to leave a company before they're seats get warm, and understanding these reasons improves the onboarding experience. 

Why do New Employees Leave?

1. Undecided Career Path

Few 22-year-old college graduates know exactly which career path they want to follow. Therefore, they may decide that your entire field is a bad fit and go a different direction. In these instances, it isn't the company, but its entire way of working that leads to the employee leaving. Entry-level and intermediate employees are the most likely to search for new career paths, which can lead to high turnover.  

2. Your New Hire was Still Searching

Your new employee may have taken the job out of necessity. He or she may have bills that needed paying, and your offer is just a temporary solution. An expert executive recruiter will have a thorough screening process that eliminates these types of candidates, but even that is not foolproof. Sometimes something better (or at least seemingly better) simply comes around at a time that's inconvenient for the employer. 

3. An Influx of Incoming Offers

A company who just landed a top graduate from MIT has to be aware of other companies pursuing the employee. If someone comes with a substantially better offer (especially within the first few months of employment) your great catch could end up as the one that got away. 

New hires leave for varying reasons. According to one survey, a more attentive staff and management team could help to retain 9% of employees who quit within the first month. Individual acknowledgement would have helped to retain another 12%. Another 17% would have appreciated a friendly work environment with helpful coworkers. Effective training would have helped to retain 21%, of those who quit within six months. An alarming 23% of those surveyed said they simply wanted a better understanding of their responsibilities. Nearly 40% of those questioned left because they were essentially being ignored.


Improving Onboarding

In the above mentioned survey, most people that ended up leaving their position could have easily been appeased with some combination of the following seven important improvements:

  •  Accommodate, Assimilate, Accelerate

New employees are valuable assets and they should be treated as such. Prioritize by focusing on George Bradt's 3 'A's of onboarding; Accommodate, Assimilate Accelerate. Accommodate new hires with a tour of the entire office building. Provide them with work spaces close to others with similar responsibilities and access to all necessary utilities. Assimilate new employees by making sure they're properly introduced to everyone. Ask the employees if they have nicknames that they prefer to their first names so they feel comfortable. Accelerate the employees by teaching department specifics. Explain all the subtle nuances and idiosyncrasies of performing the daily job. 

  • Assign a Mentor

There should be someone in whom the new hire can confide. The only thing worse than not knowing what to do is not knowing whom to ask. The mentor should explain all basic knowledge about the job. Mentors should regularly ask the new employees if they have any questions, and be proactive in the assimilation phase. 

  • Let Management Manage 

HR hires new employees, but at times they know little about the jobs they perform. In some cases, for instance, HR's specialty is recognizing the talent to perform natural products industry jobs but that does not mean they know how to actually perform the jobs themselves and therefore will not always be able to answer new hire questions. Management should play an active role in guiding new employees through onboarding. HR simply implements the onboarding process, but management must make it successful. 

  •  Give Early Evaluations

This will help to satisfy the 12% of people who leave because they're not being acknowledged. Criticism of new employees should only be served as compliment sandwiches. We love your positive attitude, Amanda but we need you to pay a little more attention to detail. However, we know you'll work out and overall you're doing an incredible job. Ask new employees if they need anything to help them improve the area in which they're criticized. Take the time to individually acknowledge employees who do stellar work, so they don't feel unappreciated. 

  •  There's No Place Like Work

No one is going to spend 40+ hours a week somewhere uncomfortable. Make sure the new employees know their roles, and the existing employees know theirs as well. New employees may be seen as a threats if they're roles aren't properly expressed to the entire staff. 

  • Emphasize Acceleration 

More than 1/5 of people surveyed left their jobs, because of inadequate training. Training helps to retain the new employee and it's essential to acceleration. It's better to ere on the side of caution when determining how much training is too much. 

  • Outline Job Duties

This is vital to retaining new employees, because incorporates all 3 'A's. You're accommodating the employee with clear instructions. The interaction with management helps to assimilate the employees, and accelerate their familiarity with the job. 

Employee onboarding can be one of the best ways to retain top employees and prevent new hires from leaving quickly. The time and energy you invest in bringing new employees into the fold will be well worth it when you have a stable, happy, and productive employee base. 

Topics: hiring, employee retention

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

Recent Posts